March 21, 2005 will mark another passing.
One that will not likely cause a ripple in the town of Payson except for the organizations or people helped by our monetary donations.
March 21 will be the final luncheon and business meeting of the Zane Grey Telecom Pioneers of America here in Payson.
Our organization was founded under the name Telephone Pioneers of America in 1911.
It was then, and is today, comprised of active and retired telephone and Western Electric workers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
It is the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world. At this time, there are more than 600,000 members.
Today, a more proper title is, "Communication Worker," as the industry has advanced far beyond the dial tone that our original members were concerned with.
Many clubs and chapters of "the pioneers" are closing their books because the close-knit family of the telephone workers in all the towns across the nation was fractured by the break up of what was "The Bell System."
Monopoly was a bad word in days gone by, as it is now, and good or bad it was no longer a family, but groups of people doing similar jobs for different companies.
Individual pioneers will still be "on the job" as usual at the Payson Regional Medical Center, at the Tonto Natural Bridge, on the streets and highways picking up trash, at the Payson Police Department, the food bank, Time Out Shelter, the Senior Center, the quarterly blood drive, the library, Casa, and every place where volunteers are needed. Closing the club doesn't change a lifetime of service by "The Telephone Pioneers of America."
We'll be here for you.
Dick Maloney, Payson